SportsTalk Live: Is RG3 focused on football?
Over the next few weeks, Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ depth chart.
Some battles are straightforward. Others could get complicated. This much, however, cannot be debated: A player is not on the 53-man roster until its finalized Aug 31.
So who’s in? And who’s in jeopardy? Up today …
Position: Left cornerback
On the roster: DeAngelo Hall, E.J. Biggers, Richard Crawford, Jerome Murphy, Chase Minnifield
Expected to make the cut: Hall, Biggers
Comment: As was the case for many of the Redskins’ defenders in 2012, Hall was better in the second half of the season than he was in the first. Still, the 29-year-old had to accept a significant pay cut in order to return for his sixth season in Washington.
Hall was the Redskins’ starting left corner and slid into the slot when the unit faced three receiver sets. Cedric Griffin would then line up on the left edge. Griffin, of course, is no longer with the team.
During the team’s offseason program, Hall was used primarily on the outside and free agent acquisition E.J. Biggers lined up mostly in the slot, according to defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. What that means long term, though, remains to be seen as Haslett and defensive backs coach Raheem Morris continue to evaluate the personnel.
Asked who he intends to use as the primary slot corner, Haslett said: “We’ve played Biggers there in the offseason. We’ve played [Richard] Crawford there. You know [starting right corner] Josh [Wilson] is obviously not practicing [because of offseason shoulder surgery]. We kind of limited D-Hall a little bit to the outside. We’ve got some guys that can do it this year, and last year we were kind of limited to one or two guys.”
Asked if he envisions Biggers playing mostly in the slot, Haslett added: “I don’t know. He’s been working there. D-Hall is working there. We’ve got some options we didn’t have in the past.”
In other words, even if Haslett’s got it all figured out, he’s not ready to say who’s going to line up where. Things should, however, become much more apparent once training camp begins later this month.
Fighting for a job: Crawford, Murphy, Minnifield
Comment: As you can see, there’s a lot that still must be sorted out before the Redskins open the season Sept. 9 against the Eagles. But it’s probably safe to assume that Hall, Wilson, Biggers and David Amerson will be on the 53-man roster.
It would also make sense for Crawford to snag the fifth (and likely final) corner job. Coaches like the progress he’s made in his second year as a pro. He’s also the incumbent punt returner, where, in limited action last season, he produced impressive numbers (19.5 yards per attempt).
The addition of Amerson coupled with Crawford’s versatility, could leave Minnifield and Murphy on the outside looking in.
Minnifield impressed the coaching staff last offseason before another knee injury derailed his rookie campaign. He expects to be ready for camp, though. Murphy, meantime, will probably have to beat out Crawford and Minnifield to secure a spot.